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Do it yourself Car Maintenance - Interior care and upkeep


Taking care of the interiors of a car is important to keep it looking new, fresh and clean. Here are a few tips to help keep car interiors spic and span

Taking precautionary measures ensures that there is not much one has to do every day for interior maintenance of a car. Here are a few precautions to be exercised to protect the interiors of a car;

Do not eat in the car – No matter how hard people try, eating and drinking in a car always results in spillage on the seats and carpets of a car, which can leave stains. Make sure the car is cleaned and stains if any are removed as soon as possible.

Do not smoke in the car – Smoking in a car can result in ash falling onto the seats and carpets. Also it’s quite possible that the burning end of a cigarette will at some point over a bump or sudden manoeuvre touch the dash board or door panel to cause a burn patch which cannot be removed. 

Always drive with the air conditioning on – There is a lot of dust flying around in the atmosphere in India. Accumulated dust makes the interiors of a car age faster. It’s better to drive with the air conditioning on at all times.

Use rubber mats during monsoons – Shoes bring in a lot of mud onto the floor mats of a car during monsoons. Over the carpets of cars there are a set of cloth mats. Replace these cloth mats with rubber mats so that it is easier to clean the mud off them. Also cloth mats get damaged when mud is cleaned off them, rubber mats do not. 

Seat Covers – Put on a set of seat covers on over the original seat fabric to protect the seats from stains, cuts and from tearing. 

Do not throw trash in the car – Trash will make the car interiors smell foul, may result in stains on carpets and floor mats. Keep a polyester bag to throw any trash that might need to be disposed by passengers on a drive. Throw the bag into the trash after the drive.

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Periodical maintenance

1. Remove the foot mats and brush the carpets. All cars have fixed carpets over the floor which cannot be removed. 

2. Use a vacuum cleaner on the seats, carpets and all the tiny gaps which cannot be accessed. 

3. Take off the seat covers and send them for dry cleaning.

4. Take a wet cloth and squeeze it tight. Wipe the plastics such as dashboard, centre console, steering wheel, door panels, foot well areas, seat belt housings, etc. 

5. Use a soft dry cloth to wipe the dust off all leather covers parts such as steering wheel, gear knob, etc. 

6. Let all the cleaned parts dry.

7. Use plastic or leather polish as the need maybe on the dashboard, centre console, steering wheel, buttons, etc. Do not apply too much polish, just a little bit is enough. Take a soft cloth and wipe the polish dry.

Daily care

1. If liquids like coffee or soft drinks or ice creams for that matter are spilled on seats or carpets. Soak up the residue with paper towels by blotting. Mix a solution of 1 tbsp of vinegar and ½ tbsp detergent with a little bit of water. Apply it to the stain with a sponge or towel and let it set in for about 15 minutes. Let it dry thoroughly. Wipe the residue away with warm water. Increase the concentration of vinegar if the stain persists. 

2. Remove the floor mats and brush dirt and tiny stones out of the car.

3. Clean the foot mats by dusting them (in case of cloth mats), or washing them (in case of rubber mats). 

4. Remove stains on the insides of windows and windshield with a soft wet cloth and wipe dry with a different soft cloth immediately. 

5. Make sure the seat belts are not left tangled after use. Straighten them out after use, or they will take up a tangled shape over time.

These steps should be enough to ensure that the interiors of your car remain damage free and look new even after a number of years of use. 

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